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János Bánfi-Hunyadi

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I've been reading some history of 17-Century Hungarian Bánfi-Hunyadi who was quite active as an alchemist [alkimista] in England, and what currently we referred to as Transylvania.

In one of his notebooks, he claims he extracted mercury from gold.

He owned a vineyard. Making your own wine is the way to go! I've been engaging in this endeavour as of late.

Rady, Martyn. "A Transylvanian Alchemist in Seventeenth-Century London". The Slavonic and East European Review. Vol. 72, No. 1 (Jan., 1994), pp. 140-151

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  1. Krisztian's Avatar
    Krisztian -
    We know that Rákóczi invited him to lecture, Bánfi-Hunyadi didn't deny either that he was on the hunt for the Philosopher's Stone. I find this connection intriguing because of the now long-standing claims about the Rákóczi family.

    There're some photos - which I haven't been able to find - where he was able to show some interesting feat with gold and silver. Seemingly well-read on Sendivogius' Rosarium philosophorum.
  2. Awani's Avatar
    Awani -
    Rákóczi as in Saint-Germain alias or other person?

  3. Krisztian's Avatar
    Krisztian -

    It's also known that their youngest kid, Ferenc Rákóczi's, studied and had access to the library of the Medici family. That private library may be the holder of the most extensive collection of occult manuscripts, likely, alchemy, in Europe.
  4. Awani's Avatar
    Awani -
    I've studied Tepes history a lot and it intertwines with a Hunyadi. Same one also as Bánfi-Hunyadi?

  5. Krisztian's Avatar
    Krisztian -
    Thanks. That's interesting. Tell me more (if you have time)?
  6. Awani's Avatar
    Awani -
    This is copy and paste from my notes:

    In March 1442 Vlad Dracul (Tepes father) allowed the Turks (led by Mezid-Bey) to pass through Wallachia to attack Transylvania, but they were defeated by the Hungarians under John Hunyadi, the White Knight of Hungary, and a possible bastard son of Sigismund I. Vengeful they forced Vlad Dracul and his family to flee Wallachia. But he returned, with Turkish support, and regained the throne in 1443.

    The same year, 1444, John Hunyadi broke the peace and launched the Varna Campaign in an effort to drive the Turks out of Europe. He demanded Vlad Dracul to fulfil his oath as a member of the Order of the Dragon and a vassal of Hungary, and join the crusade. But instead Vlad Dracul sent his oldest son Mircea, perhaps hoping the Sultan would spare his younger sons if he did not take part in the crusades himself.

    The Christian army was utterly destroyed in the Battle of Varna. John Hunyadi managed to escape the battle under inglorious conditions. From this moment he was bitterly hostile toward Vlad Dracul and his eldest son. In turn they blamed John Hunyadi for the loss.

    In 1447 John Hunyadi led a war against Vlad Dracul. The decisive battle was fought near Targoviste in December. As a result Dracul was killed on the order of John Hunyadi assisted by the Romanian Boyars (the ruling elite).

    Vlad Dracul was beheaded and Mircea blinded with a burning stake and buried alive. John Hunyadi placed his own candidate on the Wallachian throne; Vladislav II, a member of the Danesti clan.

    Vlad III (Tepes) got released (some sources claim he escaped) and the Turks supported him as their candidate for the Wallachian throne. In 1448, at the age of 17, Vlad III managed to briefly seize the Wallachian throne (for two months).

    But John Hunyadi forced him to surrender and flee to the Moldavian capital Suceava were his cousin lived. His father, Bogdan, was the Prince of Moldavia. Here he was exiled until 1451 when Bogdan was brutally murdered. With no alternatives Vlad III went to Transylvania and placed himself at the mercy of John Hunyadi.

    Vladislav II unexpectedly instituted a pro-Turkish policy, which Hunyadi found unacceptable. So he forged an alliance with the son of his old enemy to retake the Wallachian throne by force. Hunyadi became Vlad III last mentor, teaching him many anti-Turkish strategies and they got close through politics.

    Vlad III received the Transylvanian duties formerly governed by his father and remained there, under protection of Hunyadi, waiting for an opportunity to retake Wallachia from his rival.

    Three years later, in 1456, John Hunyadi broadened the scope of his campaign against the Turks and invaded Turkish Serbia, while Vlad III simultaneously invaded Wallachia. On August 11th in the Battle of Belgrade Hunyadi was killed by the plague, and his army defeated. Vlad defeated Vladislav II and on August 20th he caught up with the fleeing prince and killed him.
    To cut to the chase... then Tepes became ruler and began his reign of terror where he had revenge on all those that hurt his family. In a way John Hunyadi is to blame (directly/indirectly) for the creation of the Lord Impaler (Dracula)... as well as the experiences in Turkish prison, but it is Hunyadi that laid the foundation for Tepes atrocities that he performed on his own people (the people who had betrayed his father on the orders of Hunyadi), IMO.

    Updated 11-03-2013 at 12:54 PM by Awani
  7. Krisztian's Avatar
    Krisztian -
    That's a nice piece of history, thanks, I didn't know.